Welcome to the fifth installment of the 4,007,236 part series Are There Any Other Travel Bloggers? Whether you’re a reader seeking out the best travel stories, a blogger wanting to learn the ins and outs of the industry, or someone who enjoys proposterous questions where answers lack relevancy, you’ll like this segment. This week I spoke with foodie Mark Wiens of Migrationology.
Mark Wiens on Food
What’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted?
A single bite of perfectly ripe durian fruit from Southeast Asia has to be one of my most cherished single bites of edible cuisine on earth. It’s sweet, slightly bitter, and insanely creamy. (Editor’s Note: A complete 180 from my last interview with Globetrotter Girls who abhor durian.)
As for meals, while I do love meat, I’m more interested in seafood that’s packed with vibrant spices and pungent flavors.
What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever eaten?
While in Brunei I was excited to eat a traditional meal of sticky sago palm starch along with a fermented fruity sauce called cacah binjai. The combination was truly interesting, bizarre, and I absolutely loved it.
Which of your posts do you love best?
I have a huge passion for food, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than sampling different and unique dishes everywhere I go. 33 foods worth traveling across the world just to eat is a compilation of some of the best tasting things to eat around the world–dishes that are worth visiting a country for just to eat.
Mark Wiens on Blogging and Books
What has been your best strategy for increasing your readership? Earning revenues?
Writing long and valuable articles. When you have a blog, your readers are everything. So if you continually put them first, offer them practical, useful, and highly valuable information, it will eventually lead to a great increase in readership and possibly revenue.
As for revenue, packaging my travel notes, research, and photos into useful eBook guides has been the best way I’ve been able to earn an income from my blog.
What blogs and books are you reading these days?
Nowadays I read a lot of marketing and psychology books and blogs. Social Triggers is a great resource for learning how to get more leads and more sales. At the moment I’m also reading a fascinating book called Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariley. Both offer great tips on the marketing side of blogging.
What projects are you currently working on?
Mark Wiens on Traveling the World
If you could create a country by choosing one food from any country, one geographic feature from any country, and one culture from any country, what three countries would you mash together to create this bizarre, new utopia?
I’d choose Southern Thai Food (or Malaysian food which is very similar), the geography from Tanzania which includes a gorgeous coastline, mountains and forests, and the warm friendly culture of Sri Lanka. This may be a place I’d quit traveling for!
What’s your best strategy for saving money on the road?
My personal favorite strategy is adapting to the local purchasing power. To put it in different words, once you are in a country, you think in terms of their currency.
As an example: If a normal meal in the country costs $1, and a fancy, nice meal costs $5, you have to live local and eat the $1 meal most of the time, not continue to say “Oh, the $5 meal is so cheap compared to where I’m from.”
Thinking local and adapting my budget accordingly is my favorite money saving strategy.
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